Risotto might be my favorite ‘special occasion food’. It’s definitely not something I make everyday…let’s face it…it isn’t the healthiest and who wants to continuously stir like that?! But for these reasons it’s an excellent option to serve when a celebration is in order.
Bev is one of my absolute favorite people in the blog world. Each morning when I get to work there’s a handful of blogs I MUST read before even thinking about starting my work day. Bev’s at the top of my list because her food is to.die.for and she always makes me laugh.
Today, Kara, Cliff and I are so excited to be participating in a Virtual Baby Shower to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Bev’s twins, William and Natalie! I thought special occasion food was in order and more specifically Lemon Risotto Tarts with Pea Puree because they’re perfect little nibbles, complete with a punch of lemony flavor and a pop of color.
I love finger food for a baby shower because guests can easily pop tarts in their mouth while standing, chatting, mingling, holding a drink, opening gifts, etc. And the mom-to-be can rest the tarts right on her belly! How cute would that be?
How to make Lemon Risotto Tarts
1. Prepare your liquids for the risotto, you’ll need lemon juice/zest, wine and chicken broth
2. Once the shallots are translucent and the garlic is fragrant, add the arborio rice and thyme
3. Once all the liquid has absorbed, stir in the mascarpone and parmesan cheese
4. While the tarts are in the oven, heat the peas through, then puree using an immersion blender
5. Add the remaining parm and continue to blend (while adding oil) until smooth
6. Right out of the oven, we added a sprinkling of red pepper flakes for a kick, but this is optional
7. Top with pea puree and serve these cute nibbles to guests!
Lemon Risotto Tarts with Pea Puree
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 – 3 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 shallot, finely diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil (plus more for pea puree)
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 2-3 sprigs thyme, removed from sprigs and minced
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 package mini fillo shells
- Lay the fillo shells in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat a large pot over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add 1 clove garlic and shallots and sauté for a minute or so until the shallot is translucent.
- In a large measuring cup, stir together chicken broth, white wine and half of the lemon juice/zest.
- Add the Arborio rice and thyme and stir to coat the rice thoroughly. Adding 1/2 cup at a time, add the liquid, stirring constantly after each addition. As soon as it appears that the rice has absorbed the liquid, add in the next addition. Do not stop stirring. The rice is done when it no longer has a hard bite.
- Add the mascarpone cheese and half of the grated Parmesan cheese and stir thoroughly. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.
- Add a spoonful of risotto to each fillo shell and place in the oven for 6-8 minutes, until lightly golden brown on top.
- While the risotto tarts are in the oven, prepare the pea puree. In a small saucepan, cook the peas with 1 clove minced garlic and the remaining lemon juice/zest, just until heated through.
- Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to puree. Add remaining grated Parmesan cheese and continue to puree, slowly pouring in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, until you reach a smooth consistency.
- Once the risotto tarts are out of the oven, top each with a small dollop of pea puree and serve immediately.
- For an extra kick, add a light dusting of red pepper flakes to the risotto tarts are soon as they come out of the oven.